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June 7 Saint Of The Day: Saint Antonio Maria Giannelli, Founder of the Daughters of Mary

Antonio Maria was born to poor peasants in Cereta (La Spezia), today in the diocese of Chiavari, on 12 April 1789, the year of the French revolution, the second son of six children

Antonio Maria attended the seminary schools as an external student due to the interest of the owner of the lands cultivated by his father

He was then welcomed into the seminary and ordained a priest in 1812.

Enrolled in the congregation of Suburban Missionaries, he devoted himself to popular preaching.

After teaching in the seminary of Genoa, in 1826 he was appointed parish priest of S. Giovanni Battista in Chiavari, and here he linked his name to the establishment of the seminary, which he completed in the same year, and in which he held the position of prefect of studies and professor of eloquence.

His name is linked above all to the institution of the Daughters of Maria SS. dell’Orto, a beneficial cultural and welfare institution to provide teachers and educators for the charity and work hospice opened in the city, still known by the name of the Giannelline nuns, destined for rapid expansion and an intense apostolate in Latin America.

Another institution created by Giannelli was the congregation of the Missionaries of S. Alfonso M. de Liguori, with which it was proposed to form a body of priests who would dictate the spiritual exercises to the clergy every year and promote the missions in the parishes.

Appointed bishop of Bobbio in 1837, he reorganized the seminary and founded the congregation of the Oblates of St. Alphonsus for the reform of the clergy.

He died in Piacenza on June 7, 1846. His body rests in the cathedral of Bobbio.

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